Perfectionism sucks. There, I said it. My whole life I’ve always tried to do the best I could in everything I did. Getting an A- on a test wasn’t good enough and finishing second in a swim race might as well have been finishing last. You get the picture.
Sadly, perfectionism has also affected my workouts. For so long I felt that a workout “didn’t count” if I didn’t leave the gym completely exhausted and dripping with sweat. I felt like I had to be in the perfect condition to have a successful workout. I couldn’t be hungry or too tired or unmotivated. I could only workout if I felt 100% ready to give it my all.
Well, news flash, Mikaela:
it’s impossible to be 100% on your game 100% of the time.
Once I figured this out, my perspective on perfectionism changed dramatically in both my personal and professional lives. I realized that on so many occasions, I let perfectionism get in the way of doing things. If I didn’t feel ready, I didn’t workout. If I didn’t think my workout was going perfectly, I didn’t finish it.
See what happened? I not only didn’t have a great workout, I didn’t do it AT ALL. I was so obsessed with achieving greatness, that I ended up achieving nothing. And that sucks!
As many of you know, my goal in life is to become an entrepreneur, and the one thing that any successful entrepreneur will say is that “you just have to start and never stop trying.”
There’s never going to be the “right time,” and it’s never going to be perfect.
I know most of you are not business dorks like I am, but I think this mentality definitely applies to fitness goals as well. Like starting a business, fitness is a journey full of ups and downs. Some days you’ll hit it out of the park and other days you’ll strike out. But if you only show up on the good days, you’ll never see any real results.
Since changing my mentality on perfectionism, I’ve had to challenge myself to workout even on days when I don’t feel motivated. It normally involves a lot of procrastination, complaining, and a few choice words, but I always manage to get it done.
Some days I’m a bit slow and weak, but it’s OKAY as long as I don’t give up. Because after all, an okay workout is still way better than no workout at all.
Other times, I find my groove after several minutes and end up busting out a great workout. On those days, I tell myself, ‘wow, and you didn’t even want to workout today, you’re a baller. You go Glen Coco.” And just like that, conquering a challenge can turn a “whatever” morning into a great one.
Moral of the story is, don’t let perfection stand in the way of getting things done. Any workout is always always always better than no workout at all :)
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a lot easier said than done, so here’s a few tips that you can try on those days when you are just not having it:
1. Switch it up
Sometimes I look at the BBG circuit for the day and say “nope, that ain’t happening.” Instead, I’ll do something else that seems more manageable that day, like HIIT sprints, hiking, Soul Cycle, running, or even yoga.
Some days different workouts seem more appealing, and it’s better to go with what sounds right. On days when I need some motivation, I try to take a class like Soul Cycle because I need the pressure of an instructor and other people to keep me going.
Other days I feel like I will literally die if I do something too strenuous, so I’ll opt for some liss on the treadmill or some ab exercises.
2. Stick with your schedule
I think it’s super important to have a fitness routine to help keep you motivated and on track. Choose the number of times a week you want to workout and the specific days. When you know you are supposed to do legs on Mondays, you have to do it to stay on schedule. Some Mondays will be better than others, but it’s more important to #NeverMissAMonday than to always strive for the #BestWorkoutEver. For more info on how to create a workout schedule, check out my other post here.
3. Reward yourself
Convincing yourself to workout when you really don’t want to is tough, so try sweetening the deal a little by giving yourself a reward if you complete the workout. My favorite reward is an awesome breakfast. I always make sure to have an açai bowl, smoothie, or avocado toast waiting for me for when I’m done with my workout. You have no idea how motivating an impending acai bowl can be :)
Thanks for reading and have a happy workout!